Anda di halaman 1dari 6

Paper #1 Nick DeFrancisco Mr. Whicker 1-20-12 Breaking the limitations of a 5 Paragraph Essay Here it is.

The main thesis statement to what will become the introduction to my first paragraph. Following this, will be the discussion of my three or more main points, which will be broken down into about three more paragraphs with a fifth and final concluding paragraph. I know I can speak for many others, when I say that for most of my life, this is the writing format that I had to become accustomed to, and was almost forced to learn. However, looking back, was it always necessary to just have that five paragraph rule? I personally believe that this limitation holds back from the potential to put forth more in ones writing. Throughout my years at the Olentangy School District in Columbus, Ohio, I was always taught throughout my English courses, whenever I wrote a paper, it had to be five paragraphs. A lot of times though, I would struggle to fit all of my ideas into that limited amount of space given to us. How was I supposed to only have three main points on a subject that I felt passionate enough to write about. Even for papers that I may not have enjoyed writing as much, at least I knew that limiting my ideas was a bad idea. That is why I personally disagree with this policy. We, as writers should not be limited to the amount of words we have to say. We should be allowed as many paragraphs as it takes to get our points across. No matter how long or short our papers are, they are true representations of our background knowledge of a particular subject, which is why I believe that by limiting it is in a sense limiting our ideas.

According to authors, Lil Brannon, Jennifer Pooler Courtney, Cynthia P. Urbanski, Shana V. Woodward, Jeanie Marklin Reynolds, Anthony E. Iannone, Karen D. Haag, Karen Mach, Lacy Arnold Manship, and Mary Kendrics online article, The FiveParagraph Essay and the Deficit Model of Education, they all believe that students have been almost brainwashed with the idea that this is the right way to go about writing. They say, They persist because they have been enshrined in textbooks, and tested by the testing establishment, even after scholars in composition have documented the irrationality of their use for 30 years. (Brannon). This statement goes on to show that many scholars in this field disagree with the idea of using five paragraphs. The way that Brannon illustrates the idea of five paragraphs makes it seem as if students have had them almost brainwashed into their head, before entering a further education, or college career. Why would teachers be leading us down this direction, if so much more can come out of our writing? Is it truly the right thing to do? According to Brannon and other scholars she mentions, it is not. In todays society, many high school teachers believe that by teaching this method, it will become beneficial to a students writing. However, when I first stepped foot into my English class first year at Ohio University, I found this famous rule to be false. There are so many ways to break down a discussion within ones writing, which is why limiting the paper or assignment would be a dumb idea for the writer to constrict his opinions or thoughts on a subject. According to author, Thomas E. Nunnallys article, Breaking the Five Paragraph-Theme Barrier, he states the disadvantages of writing only a five paragraph paper, because it limits the author from expressing all of their thoughts in their writing.

At the end of Nunnallys article, he states, If a school teachers workload and a classs potential for improvement make it impossible to accomplish more than teaching the barebones of FPT, so be it. (Nunnally). This statement is a sarcastic remark to show that sometimes teachers will in a way falsely prepare their students for a further education within their writing abilities, and not allow them to express themselves with better writing, but instead maintain the basic five paragraph rule. Nunnally argues that writers should be able to express themselves with their own limitations and have no strict limit as to how long their paper has to be. I personally agree with this statement. If we are limited to what we say throughout our writing, then we may not address all of the main points to an argument we have created through one of our papers. Not all papers have just three main points made into distinctive paragraphs. For each one, I personally believe that it should be broken down into a smaller sub point, and have examples based off of it. Also with the number or previous sources used throughout your paper, it should be a little bit easier for the writer to break it down even further in to more paragraphs. Oh, imagine that I just went past five paragraphs with this paragraphfunny. Some will still argue that this form of writing is the right way to go, even though I personally do not find it to be true. Author Kerri Smith argues in her article, In Defense of the Five-Paragraph Essay, that this is the right way of going about writing papers for English. However, I would have to disagree with her belief. She comments, Every piece of great expository writing I have read, from the best of my students research essays of Oliver Sacks and Virginia Woolf, adheres to that essential structure. (Smith). The essential structure being addressed here would obviously be that of the five paragraph

structure. This would be untrue to students though, because if they are truly passionate in what they are writing about, then so be it if it is more than five paragraphs. When I think of what Smith argues, it reminds me of what Sarah Allen says in her online article, The Inspired Writer vs. The Real Writer. In this article, Allen discusses how not all writers are natural writers. She talks about how sometimes when motivated writers produce their best material, and nobody can be limited to being a so-called natural writer, because there just isnt such a thing according to her. As she goes on to describe, sometimes this little bit of motivation or perseverance to guide writers to create their best works, can help them to go on a lot with their writing. That being said, how can you limit someones ideas, if it only helps them to improve in their writing? You simply cannot do that to a writer, which is why we, as a society of students have been taught wrong throughout the course of our academic lives. This is why Smith would be wrong in my opinion. It was crazy to walk into my English 151 class this quarter and be told that pretty much everything I had learned in English could possibly be wrong. Its like being slapped in the face and realizing that you have been wrong all along. It was shocking to know that this system that had been programmed into my mind for all these years was just a start to what college papers should actually be. Deep down, I had always felt that even with just five paragraphs, I could be limited too short sometimes, so I knew that this made sense after learning it. After doing some background research and looking at previous papers I had written throughout high school, I began to realize that I had so much potential to continue on with some of my stories or papers. It is this potential to keep going on that drives writers to want to go on, and break that limitation that restricts us.

I think teachers in high school could learn a thing or two from what these scholars are saying. Throughout high school, I find that when writing something that I either really enjoy or am very passionate about, I can go on forever, and do not like to be held by any sort of limitation as to how long it has to be. Teachers should allow their students to progress through their writing, and write as much as their mind can allow them to produce. The more writing a student puts forth, will only make them improve. It truly matters in todays society, because the more students put forth into their work, the more potential to succeed they can have throughout the course of their life. Lets admit it, thats all we really want to do is to succeed right? I know I do, not only as a writer, but as a person in general. So if we can all just disregard this old rule, and move forth with our writing, not only will become better writers, but we may get more out of it, and enjoy expressing ourselves without those limitations we may have had before. So weve now come to that conclusion, but wait Im about eleven paragraphs into this bad boy. Breaking that limitation allowed me to express my thoughts and opinions and I got a lot more out of it. By relating this dreadful rule to some of my old papers, and reading what other experts had to say, I truly began to learn just how beneficial it is to break free from just writing five paragraphs. Hopefully, for any future paper I have to write, I will get enough out of it to keep going on with it until I cannot think of anything else to say.the way writing a paper should be.

Bibliography Allen, Sarah. The Inspired Writer vs. the Real Writer. Writing Spaces: Reading on Writing, Vol. 1. Parlor Press (2010). 18 January 2012.

Brannon, Lil., Jennifer Pooler Courtney., Cynthia P. Urbanski., Shana V. Woodward., Jeanie Marklin Reynolds., Anthony E. Iannone., Karen D. Haag., Karen Mach., Lacy Arnold Manship., and Mary Kendric. The Five-Paragraph Essay and the Deficit Model of Education. National Council of Teachers of English. The English Journal, Vol. 98, No. 2. (Nov., 2008). 17 January 2012.

Nunnally, Thomas E. Breaking the Five-Paragraph-Theme Barrier. National Council of Teachers of English. The English Journal, Vol. 80, No. 1 (Jan., 1991). 17 January 2012.

Smith, Kerri. In Defense of the Five-Paragraph Essay. National Council of Teachers of English. The English Journal, Vol. 95, No. 4. (Mar., 2006.). 17 January 2012.